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  1. #1
    Anew Leaf
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    Default Sehnsucht: Experiences and Thoughts and Stuff

    A theme that has been cropping up in my random studies the past few months has been around the concept of Saudade or Sehnsucht. I just came across this once again today and I thought maybe it could be an interesting discussion.

    Do you feel like you have experienced this concept in your own life?

    If so, how does it manifest?

    We can go from here to wherever.

  2. #2
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    I've experienced things that seem close to Sehnsucht often, though not nearly as sophisticated as that description in the link (though perhaps that sophistication merely arises from natural language's inability to describe feelings with much accuracy). In fact, I can recreate a lot of these feelings, albeit mildly, as I am writing this. They have been some of the most intense feelings I have ever experienced.

    Saudade seems more along the lines of love, which I haven't experienced. I think I've experienced it mildly through empathy, especially of fiction and music, but never with much intensity (it was a feeling not too far off nostalgia, though it doesn't really focus on the past, just an absence which was not necessarily there to begin with).

    It's funny, all the strongest positive feelings I've experienced have never really had corresponding words (ecstasy is the closest, with its "stand outside the self" meaning), whereas the strongest negative feelings have all had words that encompass them quite well (despair and agony, mainly).

  3. #3
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I've experienced things that seem close to Sehnsucht often, though not nearly as sophisticated as that description in the link (though perhaps that sophistication merely arises from natural language's inability to describe feelings with much accuracy). In fact, I can recreate a lot of these feelings, albeit mildly, as I am writing this. They have been some of the most intense feelings I have ever experienced.
    Interesting point about languages inability to describe feelings. Maybe that is what is so interesting to me about this word. It's something alien to name that which is felt but not able to be expressed since the very concept of expressing a deep inner lonely longing requires an interaction with the external which in a sense automatically negates that which is felt and trying to be expressed.

    It's funny, all the strongest positive feelings I've experienced have never really had corresponding words (ecstasy is the closest, with its "stand outside the self" meaning), whereas the strongest negative feelings have all had words that encompass them quite well (despair and agony, mainly).
    Could it be that positive feelings are more layered and intricate whereas negative feelings can be a bit more "one note" in concept? Just wondering out loud here.


    ---------------------------

    New questions I have thought of... Is it easier to ignore such feelings if we don't have a name for them? These terms are very specific words pulled from languages and cultures other than English. In the Wikipedia article it talks about a study done between Germans and Americans:

    In a cross-cultural study conducted to determine whether the German concept of Sehnsucht could be generalized to the United States, four samples of American and German participants “rated their 2 most important life longings and completed measures of subjective well-being and health.”[6] German and American participants did not differ in their ability to identify life longings or the intensity of their Sehnsucht. However, German participants associated it more with unattainable, utopian states while Americans reported the concept as not as important to everyday life.

  4. #4
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Do you feel like you have experienced this concept in your own life?
    Yes.

    If so, how does it manifest?
    Do you mean how I act when I'm experiencing it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Interesting point about languages inability to describe feelings. Maybe that is what is so interesting to me about this word. It's something alien to name that which is felt but not able to be expressed since the very concept of expressing a deep inner lonely longing requires an interaction with the external which in a sense automatically negates that which is felt and trying to be expressed.
    You just wrinkled my brain, dude.

    Could it be that positive feelings are more layered and intricate whereas negative feelings can be a bit more "one note" in concept? Just wondering out loud here.
    Maybe. If so, I'd say it's a trend but not an absolute. I know I have some negative feelings that require a fairly elaborate description to explain.

    New questions I have thought of... Is it easier to ignore such feelings if we don't have a name for them?
    Not for me.

    I was also schadenfreude-y before I even knew the word existed.
    1w2-6w5-3w2 so/sp

    "I took one those personality tests. It came back negative." - Dan Mintz

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    OP: I have certainly experienced some form of sehnsucht. Sometimes when I'm in melancholic, nostalgic mood, I'm thinking about all the good things I'll probably never have in my life. It makes me quite sad.

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    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Ah, Sehnsucht, one of our national specialties and export hits!

    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Aaaaand a little encore:

    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  8. #8
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    I have, to some extent, experienced both although I can't say I'm always aware of the feelings. Typically, I use songs and other media as emotional thermometers so when I start moving towards certain themes, such as



    I know that something is up and that it's time to get the magnifying glass and/or tissues out. o.O

  9. #9
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD45T-2 View Post

    Do you mean how I act when I'm experiencing it?
    Hmm, I think I mean... how do you feel or think or do stuff.... (nice and vague, I know)

    You just wrinkled my brain, dude.
    True story: your brain is already wrinkled.

    I would try to say what I said more succinctly but... everytime I try it's pretty much what I already wrote except that I made it even more bizarre. Hmm, maybe it can be explained by this: So our bodies have veins which transport our deoxygenated blood back to our heart and lungs to get oxygen and stuff. And because the blood has no oxygen, it looks blue in the veins. You can see it under the surface of your skin. However, if you tried looking at the blood first hand by cutting yourself, it immediately turns red.

    I probably made no sense there again, but I found it interesting to connect the two.

    Maybe. If so, I'd say it's a trend but not an absolute. I know I have some negative feelings that require a fairly elaborate description to explain.
    Good point.

    Not for me.

    I was also schadenfreude-y before I even knew the word existed.
    German has the best words.

    It did make me think of a psychological study that I had to read about in college. Where some culture (I forget which one) doesn't distinguish between the colors pink and orange, and because of it they see them as the same color.

  10. #10
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rad3k View Post
    OP: I have certainly experienced some form of sehnsucht. Sometimes when I'm in melancholic, nostalgic mood, I'm thinking about all the good things I'll probably never have in my life. It makes me quite sad.
    What do you do about these feelings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Ah, Sehnsucht, one of our national specialties and export hits!

    Le sighe... This is one of my favorite songs ever... that opening is gorgeous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Aaaaand a little encore:

    *moves to Germany*

    Quote Originally Posted by thealchemist View Post
    I have, to some extent, experienced both although I can't say I'm always aware of the feelings. Typically, I use songs and other media as emotional thermometers so when I start moving towards certain themes, such as



    I know that something is up and that it's time to get the magnifying glass and/or tissues out. o.O
    Oh, Muse... Greatest Emo Band Ever. That's an interesting point about using external sources to gauge where your emotional GPS coordinates are located.

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